Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Russians Are Coming...

...or have already arrived as can be witnessed by the arrests of several alleged Russian Spies Agents earlier this week right here in the good old U.S.A.. It is almost like the cold war never ended, well were any of really that naive to believe that it had ended just because the USSR fell and broke into smaller commie-like countries. Russia remains a major player as far as world powers go so shame on us if we were not on our toes for several years now. We probably have to worry about them more now, what with the deplorable conditions in the world's economy than we have had to for many a year now because not only does their economy such but so to does every one's - and that often has led to war.

Back to the alleged Russian spies agents; I think they are everywhere and that they have covers for themselves that you may find hard to believe. Then again I am a federal agent and I assure you they are sneaky bastards. Just yesterday, one of them, in a darned good disguise, tried to sneak into my very own home thinking that she would not be recognized for the Russian Spy that she is. No, I am not kidding. She was brought to my home by a friend who introduced her to me as Mr. something or other. Bear in mind now, I just said she was introduced as Mister something or other, I cannot remember the name probably because I knew it had to be bogus just as I knew he was a she. Those Russian and their steroids, still must be using them on their woman and while maybe not on their Olympic athletes then still on their spies. This babe was beefy for her kind and therefore probably easily mistaken for a male as opposed to a female. But I caught her, I am not a trained investigator for nothing. Of course, I did not tip my hand to her, I am not letting on to her that I know the real deal. A little bit of counter espionage is at work here, the least I can do for my country - don't ya think.

For now, this alleged Russian Spy Agent has been getting comfortable in my home, which is in fact her new home. She seems to have settled down pretty well in her first day here, is already enjoying the sunlamp, is eating our food, and has been lazing about and taking it easy on the futon in our finished basement. My wife and kids have not met her yet, she is playing herself up to be on the shy side but I am sure they will soon come to realize that this foreigner from the eastern-bloc has taken up residence in our home. As for me, I am making believe I like her to see what I can get out of her. She has been keeping pretty quiet though, probably trying to lull me into a feeling of complacency before she starts gathering information and sending it back to the Motherland. I'll keep an eye on her. Even though she does not look like she could make a fast get-away you can never trust these Russians they use great disguises, like trying to look just like a Russian Tortoise. So for now she is being kept under house arrest. If she behaves as she should and seems healthy enough, well then she will at least get some outside privileges in our back yard under natural sunlight with our other foreign spies tortoises.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ignorance Personified...

...or maybe I should just say that what you will see, if you watch the embedded video, is a very stupid County Supervisor trying to give her side of why she does not support Arizona's Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB1070).

Yet despite her ignorance, as seen in this video, she reportedly is: "Chairwoman of the Health and Human Needs Committee, a member of the Economic & Community Development and Finance & Audit Committees". (1) In addition she reportedly serves on: "...the Latina Resource Center Advisory Board, Sports Authority Planning Council, Health Care Policy Task Force, Milwaukee Center for Independence Board of Visitors, Kosciuszko Community Center Advisory Board and Esperanza Unida Board of Directors; she is Co-Chair of the Side Side National Night Out Planning Committee as well as the Cesar E. Chavez Drive Advancement Committee". (2) Finally, she is also reported to serve on the Executive Committee of the Milwaukee Democratic Party (3); maybe this last one explains why - despite her reported interest in Mexican history she was unaware of a very important geographical fact about Arizona and Mexico. Watch the video and be amazed. My guess is she learned about geography and international affairs at the same school where someone else learned that the U.S. of America has 57 states.

Of course, it is not merely her apparent ignorance that is of concern, just listen to her speak and tell me what point exactly is it that she is trying to make. I'd bet you can guess at it but nowhere do you really hear her make a point except that maybe if it was one way as opposed to the way she incorrectly thinks it is then she might think about it twice. It is a befuddling speaking session to say the least. How she ever got put into her positions of authority and responsibility are beyond my comprehension.




Yep folks, just keep voting people like her into office, it will solve all of our problems with Immigration if only because we will be taken over by Mexico muy rapido.

All the best,
Glenn B

References: 1-3: http://tucsoncitizen.com/the-cholla-jumps/2010/06/24/county-supervisor-peggy-west-dumbest-poltician-east-of-the-mississippi/

Today In History - U.S. Air & Naval Forces Ordered To Korea - Are We Repeating One Of The Great Mistakes Of That War Today

On June 25, 1950, 90,000 North Korean troops, using Russian tanks and weaponry, attacked South Korea. The Korean Conflict had begun. On June 25 the UN, in an emergency session called for a cease to the hostilities and demanded that the North Koreans pull back to the 38th Parallel - a division of Korea that had been in effect since the Yalta Conference near the end of WWII.

On June 27, 1950, U.S. President Harry Truman announces to the world that he has ordered U.S. Naval and Air Forces to Korea to help defend a nation from communist takeover. This meets with resounding approval from Congress and the American People but war is not declared and Truman does not ask for a declaration of war.

On June 28th the UN approves a resolution to use force against North Korea.

On June 30, within 5 days of the commencement of the invasion, Truman commits U.S. ground troops to the conflict.

On July 8, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur is named is named as the commander of all UN forces in Korea. Of course the U.S. troops are the major part of those UN forces.

In October 1950, the early advances and victories by US led UN forces were threatened by the entry of Chinese Communist troops into the conflict on the side of North Korea. UN forces retreat.

General MacArthur, in early 1951, openly defies President Truman's war policy by threatening to bomb China. Truman was fearful that an attack on China would bring the Soviets into the war. He fires MacArthur.

By May 1951 the North Koreans and Chinese forces have been pushed back to the 38th Parallel and this point is basically held for about the next two years while negotiations are ongoing to put an end to the fighting.

The armed hostilities cease, on or about July 27, 1953 when an armistice is achieved on that day.

Obviously though, the hostilities (both cold and hot - such as the recent torpedoing of a S. Korean ship by the North) continue today with the North Korean government remaining a self avowed enemy of South Korea, the U.S.A. and of freedom. It is one of the most oppressive and totalitarian regimes of all times.

Lest you think none of this important today, think of current totalitarian regimes and how they could possibly throw us into another similar conflict. Countries such as North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Syria, Venezuela (and groups like the Taliban) all come to mind. The result of an alliance formed between these little countries & groups might be that a larger country or two - such as Communist China and Russia - might again lend aid to be used against the United States and her allies. The next time we have a MacArthur telling our president to bomb an enemy into destruction - maybe we should listen. It might save lives today, in the long run, much as it may have done back then. As it stood, here is a list of the casualties of the Korean Conflict - a war that was not left to the generals and from which one of the best generals ever was fired:

UN FORCES BY COUNTRY

United States:
36,516 dead (including 2,830 non-combat deaths)
92,134 wounded
8,176 MIA
7,245 POW

United Kingdom:
1,109 dead
2,674 wounded
1,060 MIA or POW

Turkey:
721 dead
2,111 wounded
168 MIA
216 POW

Canada:
516 dead
1,042 wounded

Australia:
339 dead
1,200 wounded

France:
300 KIA or MIA

Greece:
194 KIA
459 wounded

Netherlands:
123 KIA

Philippines:
112 KIA

Belgium:
106 KIA

New Zealand:
33 KIA

South Africa:
28 KIA and 8 MIA

Luxembourg:
2 KIA

Total: 778,053
***************

COMMUNIST FORCES

North Korea:
215,000 dead
303,000 wounded
120,000 MIA or POW

China (Official data):
114,000 killed in combat
34,000 non-combat deaths
380,000 wounded
21,400 POW

China (U.S. estimate):
400,000+ dead
486,000 wounded
21,000 POW

Soviet Union:
282 dead
Total: 1,187,682-1,545,822

CIVILIAN LOSSES

South Korea:

990,968 total
373,599 killed
229,625 wounded
387,744 abducted/missing

North Korea:
1,550,000 (est.)

Total civilians killed/wounded:

2.5 million (est.)

Hopefully we can avoid another such conflict but if we become engaged again, as we already are now in Afghanistan, we should leave the military matters mostly to the generals. We civilians should need to carefully select the generals, then let the generals fight the wars to their ends as quickly as possible. We need to be opposed to tolerating war that is not allowed to be fought because of ludicrous political policy and thereby resulting in escalating casualties of our troops. We also need to be intolerant of elected officials who fumble their way through not only the prosecution of war but through the entirety of their elected terms as they try to find someone on whom to pin the blame for anything and everything. We do not need to determine whose asses need to be kicked, we need to get the job done first whether it be sealing off a leaking oil well or fighting a war. The asses that need to be kicked goals that need to be achieved are obvious, or should be, to anyone. In the case of an oil well leak, the top priority should be stopping the leak - or proverbially kicking the oil leak's ass. We can worry about name calling, looking tough with sleeves rolled up and finding fault later. The whole world is willing to help us but we keep turning them down because we are busy looking for someone on whom to pin the blame, an ass to kick, instead of solving the problem.

In war, the whole objective is kicking your enemy's ass, while not getting your own kicked; Washington knew it (American Revolution), Jackson knew it (War of 1812), Grant Knew it (Civil War), Patton knew it (WWII), MacArthur knew it (WWII & Korean War). We don't have to find out whose ass to kick, we already know the enemy or should know them and the enemy is not the U.S. Military.

In Afghanistan what we need to do is put on a political show by rolling up our sleeves get tough, really tough and kick some ass now! Otherwise we ought to get our boys and girls out of harm's way pronto with an immediate pull-out, just as most of the world eventually pulled out of Iraq when that one was being dragged on and on and on with mounting casualties every day - that is until we decided to actually fight that war. If we choose keep the Afghanistan war going, for even one day longer or one casualty more, then we ought to allow the generals to kick our enemies' asses, kick em hard and kick em now.

All the best,
Glenn B


References:

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_conflict

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ballseye's Gun Shots 74 - More Glock Training

I did it again, I just signed up for another Glock Training course. This time it is their 3 day Instructor Workshop. Yes, I am already registered for the NRA Pistol/Shotgun Law Enforcement Instructor Development School in Las Vegas this coming October, so maybe you find yourself wondering why I just signed up for the Glock Instructor Training as well. I look at it this way, the Glock training is additional instructor training from a different point of view than that of the NRA which in my mind just makes my training more diverse and well rounded and therefore so much the better. It is also a great substitute if for some reason I cannot make the NRA course. Finally it is a training opportunity that offers something the NRA course does not - a lifetime certification. With the NRA course a student gets certified for only 3 years (used to be 5 years). Whatever, I figure the additional training and certification cannot hurt. I plan to use it to help myself earn some income once I retire (which most probably will be next year).

As for the NRA course, the one for which I registered will be in Las Vegas. Attending that course has been a dream of mine for years. That is going to be a nice trip that I thought I would be making with my wife and I reserved a nice suite at Mandalay By Hotel for us. She has since backed out, so maybe I'll stay at the Hooters resort in Vegas when I get there (only kidding dear - yeah right)! As for the Glock Instructor Workshop, it is going to be held in Hempstead, NY - less than 4 miles from my home and all of a 10 to 12 minute drive away. My only cost will be the $350 course fee and 1,000 rounds of 9mm ammo. (I will ask work for the ammo but am none too hopeful about getting it.) All in all, the Glock Training is going to cost more than I feel good about spending right now after having almost totally depleted my bank accounts last month to buy a new car for cash but this training may well be worth it if it will help me earn a few bucks now and again once I retire. I have to look at it that way, as an investment in my future, and spend the money with the hope of earning a good return on my expenditures over the long haul. That is the same way I am looking at the Las Vegas trip for the NRA training even though that trip is really an extravagance - but it is also a long overdue vacation even if it will be sort of a working vacation.

There were only 2 slots available for the Glock Training and I am hopeful I got my registration in before anyone else getting who may have tried at the last moment like me. I am pretty confident because as soon as I registered the available slots went from 2 to 1. To tell the truth, I came across this opportunity while looking for something else on the Glock training site. Sort of a fluke I suppose but okay by me. I jumped at the opportunity. For the life of me, I do not know how I missed seeing this Instructor Workshop when I registered for the Armorer's course that I took at the end of May. Oh well, I saw it tonight, got my sights lined up, and pulled the trigger. Hopefully I can get the time off from work - usually that is no problem. The course will run from July 14 through the 16, 2 1/2 days of Paradise as far as I am concerned.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sheepherding It Ain't

The tortoises are two Hermann's Tortoises and three Red Foot Tortoises. The dog is Roxie. By the way Roxie was looking at the camera, I think she had it figured that she isn't a sheep dog and those other critters are not a flock of sheep. Of course that does not mean she does not have the herding instinct just as the tortoises have the instinct to get a move on; it was kind of funny how they all decided to go in the same direction for the most part. Where they were going was no mystery to me or maybe I should say where the big female Hermann's Tortoise was going was no mystery. She was headed over toward the shade under some bushes in the corner of our backyard. After all it was about 85 degrees outside, hotter in the sunlight, and they appreciate a nice cool spot to lay over until it cools down a bit.

The Hermann's Tortoises headed for the same spot. The smaller and younger Red Foot Tortoises spread out a bit but headed, more or less, in the same direction but pausing to nibble on grass and weeds along the way and so lagged behind. Roxie kept with the Hermann's Torts almost as if she was pushing the flock in that direction. I know it was probably more curiosity than anything but I also have to wonder if there was any of the Shepard's instinct in her.

I mean just take a look at her when she realizes on of the smaller Red Foots has not kept up with the rest of them. She breaks away from the rest of them and heads over to the loner to check it out to see what is up with it. Then she gingerly puts out her paw (again, I know more out of curiosity than anything else but it is nice to imagine otherwise) to see if it is okay since it somehow has upended itself and is turned over on its shell.

When she cannot quite figure out what is going on she lays down right next to it and seems to give it a concerned sniff and a nudge. I was thinking she was about to pick it up and start chewing but she didn't. She just laid there checking it out and sniffing it and nudging it a bit almost enough to make one think she was truly concerned about the little tortoise's well being. Who know, maybe that is exactly what she was doing. Maybe she really does have some of that shepherding instinct inside of her. When I think of it, that is not all too hard to believe. I would never have thought she had a pointing instinct either, until just recently when she has gone to point on toys, birds in the backyard, the other dogs, and even on a squirrel (usually she tries to catch them having caught that bad habit from our other mutt - Mimi).

At least she did not try to pick and of them up and use them as chew toys. A couple or a few years back that is just what happened when the dogs were forgotten outside while the big Hermann's Tortoise was roaming around the yard. Mimi chewed her up pretty badly, he shell still shows the scars of the grooves and holes that Mimi had gnawed into it. A lesson learned though and now I try to make sure that both the torts and dogs are out at the same time only when under a watchful eye.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge em if you want a better look at the torts or Roxie.

All the best,
Glenn B

Ballseye's Gun Shots 73 - The Press Check - My Opinion of It

Today, on another blog, I read that the SIG Academy is apparently teaching shooters to use a press check to determine if a pistol is loaded. The following was my reply to that blog. I am posting my reply again, here, because I believe it important for shooters to avoid using the press check method as I have found that certain problems seem to be much more prevalent when shooters use this method.

I have witnessed this type of chamber check, to see if a gun is loaded, over the past several years now. It is truly a worrisome development in that checking the chamber by partly opening the slide can cause problems for the shooter later on in the form of possible malfunctions. This can happen because when you check the chamber in a manner that partially pulls the slide back, you are also partially extracting the cartridge. If the chamber is at all dirty, in some guns, then when the slide is again allowed to move forward (remember this is not with full force as when you load normally) it may not go fully into battery and may fail to fire. SIGS are notorious, in my opinion, as to how sensitive they are to fouling in the chamber that causes them to fail to go fully into battery even when the slide is allowed to slam home with full force. Why increase the risk of a round not being properly chambered by using this method that partially removes the cartridge and then that reseats it but without the full force of the slide from a fully open position. Not a good thing, I am amazed SIG trainers are recommending such a method. I also believe this method leads to failure to extract properly in some guns.

Regardless of the potential for problems, it has always amazed me that someone would want to get into the habit of checking to see the gun is loaded in this manner. I have seen shooters do it on the range during tactical courses of fire. Yep, they got so used to doing it when they loaded their guns at home, or during a qualification course, or at the office, or before going out on an operation that they actually paused – during a course of combat type fire – to check to see if a bullet chambered after combat reloading.

If you are that unsure of yourself to need to check to see if a pistol is loaded, well, there are better ways to do it. If you have a pistol lying around and are uncertain if it is loaded and you are about to holster it for carry for the day – then visually inspect it. On many, many, many types of pistols you can actually see a round in the chamber if you look closely at the ejection port. That brass color you see is not a mirage. In addition, many pistols have a loaded chamber indicator that you can both see and feel. If those choices for inspecting it are not possible then remove the magazine and with the pistol pointed in a safe direction operate the slide. If a cartridge comes out it was loaded. Now reload it – best to use a fresh round and save the ejected one for a range day. Make sure to top off the magazine after reloading it. Want to know if it is loaded now – then watch it as you let the slide go during the loading process – you can see the round being fed.

There is another way to check, if you need to determine if a pistol just actually fed a round, such as when loading at the range (not during practice combat shooting), or loading an empty pistol at home – and it is pretty much a fool proof method for those who can tell when the magazine they are using is fully loaded. You load the magazine to capacity, place it into the pistol and seat it fully, operate the slide properly, and then remove the magazine to inspect it and top it off. If you can fit another round into it, where moments ago it had been fully loaded and would not accept another round, well then it means the topmost bullet is no longer there. The reason would be because it is in the chamber of the gun you just loaded.

Let me reiterate one thing – I don’t recommend checking by any of the methods I just mentioned if you are in a combat situation. If you stop to check then you may well wind up dead. While a life or death defense situation is taking place and someone is shooting at you or otherwise attacking you, it is not the time for you to be checking to see if the pistol is loaded or not. You had better hope you got it right when you thought you loaded it before needing it in such a situation. If it winds up failing to fire then you had best be aware of the actions to take when a failure to fire occurs.

All the best,
Glenn B

Reply

Glenn B said
June 26, 2010 at 11:10 am
I forgot to add this: If you are checking to see if your pistol is unloaded never use the press check method. Instead, remove the source of ammunition (the magazine) then fully pull back the slide. If the pistol has a hold open device, use it otherwise hold it open by hand. Then use your free hand to both visually and tactilely inspect to make sure it the chamber is empty and there is no source of ammunition (a magazine).

All the best,
GB

Of course, I am certain there are a large number of firearms instructors who would disagree with me that the press check could lead to potential problems but I have also met a large number who, like me, have witnessed the number of failures to fire and failures to extract go up markedly once shooters under their watchful eyes began using the press check to determine if their guns are loaded. My opinion is this, why take the chance when there are better tried and true methods available.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, June 25, 2010

Something Worth Missing...

...from my time spent in Tucson, last spring and summer, is this cactus in bloom. I ran across this one on a rock outcrop on the Super Trail at Madera Canyon. Click on it to enlarge, the flower is pretty awesome as far as flowers go. It has always amazed me how plants can grow right out of cracks in bare rock but that is just what this one did; I suppose getting nourishment from whatever debris gets caught in the same crack and eventually decomposes to form a bit of soil for the cactus. If anyone knows what it is, please leave the name in a comment. Thanks.

All the best,
GB

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

American Express To The Rescue...

...and maybe saved me from some big headaches. Tonight, I received an automated phone call from American Express saying I should call an 800 number because of suspect activity on my account. I checked online first, saw there was a suspect activity alert on my account, then decided to call the number on the back of my card which was not the same number as that left during the automated call. I spoke to some guy, I think in Pakistan, who told me that there were 5 recent charges, like today, two for $1 each (he said probably to see if my card was active) and three to Dell Computers. One of those to Dell was for almost a thousand dollars and the other two were close to two hundred each. One of the smaller ones to Dell went through, American Express caught the other two as being suspect and did not allow them to be processed. As for the one that went through they are contesting the charge. The guy then put me through to a woman who arranged to cancel my card and send me a new one. She sounded as American as apple pie.

I went online to my Dell account and saw some software had been ordered and strangely enough sent to my actual mailing address. This made me wonder if there was some glitch on Dell's end instead of fraud. I called Dell and inquired with them and spoke to another guy in Asia who sounded Pakistani. He told me that yes someone had placed an order today or it could have been a glitch but he suspected it was an actual order. He could not find the other two order attempts, I guess because American Express would not authorize the charges. He said that once I receive the software to call them for a return label.

After that, I spent the next hour and a half changing about 75% of my passwords, including all of them that deal with any accounts through which money flows.

The really screwed up thing about this is not so much that someone, somehow, apparently got my credit card number and then used it, nor that they attempted to send something to my own home (maybe after those orders they were going to change my address with Dell), nor that somehow they maybe got my Dell account info, but that I recently got a free year of a credit security service to prevent such stuff from happening (free from work because they exposed my credit info to the world on a government PC they gave away but forgot to wipe clean) and that service did not do one thing, as far as I am aware, to protect me or my credit in this instance I imagine they will contact me sooner or later but in this case it will have been too late if and when they do get in touch. You can bet I am going to call them tomorrow too and find out why they did not catch this.

As for American Express, now I see why I pay them a fee for their card each year; well actually I already knew why just based on some contested charges in the past that they resolved for me. This added benefit was unexpected just as were those charges. They caught it and I give them the hat tip for their vigilance.

Later for you,
Glenn B

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Survivalist Blog

M.D. Creekmore at The Survivalist Blog – a survival blog others prepare dedicated to helping for and survive disaster – with articles on bug out bag contents, survival knife choices and a wealth of other survival information is giving away a 1,000 round case of 9mm – 124 Grain FMJ (a $200 value – donated by LuckyGunner)! To enter, you just have to post about it on your blog. This is my entry. Visit The Survivalist Blog for the details.

All the best
Glenn B

Mosque Near Site of WTC

I have watched videos by this gentleman before and liked them and so far I like this one best of all. In this video he once again makes sense about why we should oppose such things put forth by Islam. Pay particular attention to the planned name of the mosque and the history of that name. Also pay attention to when they plan to open the mosque. It is a crying shame that our politicians have bent over backwards to appease Islamists on this one. If it is built, we will have lost America and everything American that we held dear.



If you don't understand his final words in this video, "God bless the Kufar" look up the Muslim term Kafir (also Kufar or Kuffar) online. There was actually once a country called
Kafiristan. It is no longer called Kafiristan because it was conquered by Muslims (which is the history of what Muslims do time and time again to a country when they enter a non-Muslim nation) and they changed the name to Nuristan after slaughtering those who would not convert (or whom they saw as the opposition) and converting most of the remainder of the population once they feared the Muslims enough to bow down to their god. Think it could not happen today or not happen here. I think it is already happening and that the conquest is well underway though only in its late early stages. I think it began here years ago, it will continue but will not happen overnight. It will take years to be achieved, but it appears as if they are trying their best to conquer us and the conquest is well under way.

We can stop it. Vote the bums, who support a mosque near the site of the WTC, out of office. Before voting them out, contact your Congressmen and women and local NY officials to oppose this mosque. You do not have to live in NY to voice your opposition, if you live out of state you can let them know something like you will never visit NYC if this mosque is erected (they would sure miss your tourist dollars).

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Today In History - People Started Swimming Less...

...a lot less in the ocean, or so it seemed to me, beginning with this day in 1975. I know for certain that I and many of my friends, though many would not admit it back then, were more afraid of swimming in the ocean than they ever had been in their lives before this day, or shortly after this day, back in 75.

The day, June 20, 1975, dawned as did any other day before it and there was not even a hint in the air that on that day a new and strong fear of the deep and what lies beneath it would be forever instilled in the hearts of millions of people like never before. You see, it was on that day and in the following weeks and months of the long hot summer of 75, that hundreds of thousands of folks, maybe even millions, sat back to relax and enjoy themselves for what would amount to just over 2 hours of entertainment in the form of that summer's newest, and biggest blockbuster, movie. Little did they realize that by the time they would have left the theater they would have had a fear, a strong fear, a lasting fear, of ever swimming in the ocean again. The movie was Jaws.

Some of the scenes in that movie mad people laugh, some got then interested in sharks and marine biology, some in WWII history, but the scenes that made the most lasting impression were those that put fear deep into your heart a fear with as powerful a grip as that of the bite of a Great White Shark. They could not have timed the release of that movie any better to have assured people would wind up afraid of the ocean and its inhabitants. At least, had it come out in the fall or early winter, I and others would have had months to get over it before going to the beach. As it worked out the season just helped build the fear even more. I got an impression from that movie that has been with me ever since, probably sunk deeply into me, like a set of shark's teeth into the swimmer, in the opening scene of the movie.



That fear remains even though I was at the beach and in the water within a few days of first seeing it. Heck, I was 19 years old going on 20 when I saw it, I had girls and friends to impress. So I made it look as if I did not have a care in the world and I sauntered down to the water's edge, somewhere in the 120's in the Rockaways, and I walked out several feet and then dove right in. I was one of the first of all my friends to do so, like I had something to prove, and maybe I did but it sure wasn't that I was not afraid. When I first stepped foot in that water and then dove under the breaking wave that was coming at me I was pretty darned scared, I heard that deep, almost rumbling, thum-thum-thum-thum music from the movie playing in my head. When I came up for air, I was still able to stand and bring my head above water and I did so and gave a rallying call and a wave to all those wussies who were still up on the sand. A couple had already joined me but most were watching, making believe they were testing to see how warm or cold was the water but it never had mattered to us before, we always had just jumped right in sometimes even in April despite the cold or because of it. This time all of them seemed apprehensive. I continued calling, waving and calling them names trying to get them in there with me, Lord knows I did not want to be out there alone or with just two other guys and then it happened. Something hit me in the calf and it had hit me pretty hard. I winced, heck I jumped, and I was just about walking on water to get out of here. Then something slammed into me again, I just about screamed but could not, probably because I was using all my energy instead to walk on water and try to see what was down there. It wasn't any of my friends, no one was near to me not even a stranger. I was scared - real scared - and I was out of there in a flash - so were were my friends when they saw me leaving. Turns out it had probably been a bluefish or two that bumped me or a baitfish fleeing from them. A school of blues had been seen in the water, by lifeguards, just beyond the breakers where I had been standing.

I was never a regular beach goer but I used to go at least a few to several times a summer with my friends back then and with my family too - that was all before Jaws. When I did go pre-Jaws, I was in the water at least as much as I was on the beach, probably more - I loved swimming. Since the day I got bumped by those fish, heck that was just a couple or three weeks at most under 35 years ago, I have hardly gone back during the summer months and I had been bumped by fish before then so what was the diffefrence? The difference was that damned movie, it had put a fear deep inside of me. Yeah, I still went to the beach sometimes but it had somehow lost its allure. When I did go, I went in the water now and then too, but never again as much as I used to enjoy it before I saw Jaws that summer day long ago. Whenever I had been hit in the leg by a fish, a piece of debris, or whatever, before I saw the movie Jaws, it may have scared me for the moment but would never have left a lasting fear. After seeing that movie though, the fear had already been set deep in my psyche and it was triggered that day, when I was in the water, by nothing I should have been afraid of. Once was enough, I never again want to imagine that I am about to be eaten by a shark like I thought that day.

It may be a silly notion, a senseless fear, even kind of ridiculous since it was instilled in me mostly because of a movie but it is one I have not been able to shake. Its not like I think about it or avoid the beach only because of it. I mostly avoid the beach because I have a bigger fear of skin cancer and sunburn with my really fair skin. I burn like a lobster is not just a saying when it comes to me and sunburn, it is the truth unless I am very careful. Same thing happens to my son. My wife and daughter take the sun much better than either of us guys. I have not even gone to outdoor pools a whole lot because of that even though I really love being in the water.

Yet, I do go to the beach now and again but the thing is I saty out of the water most of those times.I don't even go to the beach in the summer most times but in the winter or spring or fall for a walk - and i think I go then so as not to be able to swim I I was tempted to do so. Why, because I still have that fear ever since I saw jaws the first time; I am sure of it. I know that as of maybe about 6 or 7 years ago, the fear was still inside me pretty strong. I took Brendan and a friend of his and the friend's younger brother to Jone's Beach on Long Island. I kept an eye mostly on the younger guy but on the older ones too. I kept watcvhing the water for fins all around the older guys who were well beyond the breakers. Then, I was out in water, with the younger brother, about a foot or so over my waist and I kept thinking man, this is perfect shark attack depth. As the waves came in, then the undertow washed things back out to sea, each shell or piece of debris that hit my legs was something to be feared at least until I realized a shark had not gotten hold of me. It was not a terrifying fear, nothing that made me get out of the water right away but one that I am sure got me out of the water much sooner than I would have had I not been afraid. I was apprehensive, no even truly scared, about being in the water, at least in the ocean that day and in some rivers near the ocean at other times. That day with the kids, I stayed out there as long as i could and tried to have fun despite the apprehension, the fear; heck I didn't want to scare the kids nor look like a wimp to them but I admit I was scared. There is not one iota of doubt in my mind that the movie Jaws put those fears and that apprehension into me where it had never been before and where it has been there ever since. It is almost 35 years since I saw it in the first week or two after it was released. That was one heck of a powerful movie and it has made one heck of a lasting impression and planted one very scary fear inside of me.

None of that stops me from watching the movie though. In fact, I think I'll watch it tonight - I am pretty sure it will have to be on one of the FIOS channels. It was on a few nights ago and fell asleep watching it then. The fear is not so much the movie itself but what the movie put inside my head about what is in the ocean itself. Maybe next weekend, I'll go to the beach for a swim - certainly sometime of another this summer, that is if I can overcome my apprehension about it. It is easy to talk about, easy to write about, easy to view in a movie, but when it comes to actually getting in the water - it is all real apprehension. Wish me luck both with my fears and with the sharks that are often just past the surf off of the Long Island beaches at this time of year.

All the best,
GB

Happy Father's Day To All of You Dads...

...(and that includes moms, uncles and grandparents) who may have had to do double duty as Dads. Hopefully your day today is a nice one at least half as nice as mine because if that is so you are having an amazing day. This morning I was thinking about what it means to be a father, and what it means to have succeeded as one and my thoughts included some along the lines of whether or not I turned out to be a good one. I figured I must have to some extent at least turned out better at it than my own real father had been to his chilldren. While that was more than enough satisfaction for me, since my father was a total loser in the fatherhood department, I also realized there was a much better way to gauge myself than by comparison to my own father who at best was a stranger to fatherhood. The method by which I would choose to judge how good of a father I may have been is to judge how good (no I do not mean how well) my children have turned out to be, what type of young adults they have become. That is, I mean, with me having been around to: watch them grow, guide them, love them, have fun with them, worry about them, ease their fears, suffer with them, help them get better, make them feel happy, enjoy things with them, teach them, achieve goals with them, see them achieve goals on their own, be proud of them and so on all toward an end of hoping they will be better parents than I ever could have been a parent to them.

When I look at them, I know I have succeeded in the fatherhood business. Yeah, I agree, my wife takes a lot of credit there too in the parenting department, maybe more than half of it. So, I will pat the both of us the back for doing well, but Mothers' Day has past and today is Fathers' Day. Looking at it today, from that perspective, I know I have done okay, even more than okay because my children have grown up to become to fine young adults who are, for the much greater part, respectful, moral, ethical, law abiding, industrious with a good work ethic, fair minded, freedom loving Americans. Yes, they have their sometimes less than desirable traits but those, combined with the many more numerous desirable ones they exhibit, are what make them who they are. They are the best two children any parents could have as I see them and I am sure Linda would agree with me on that one. My children make the whole meaning of Fathers' Day for me. Without them I would not be a father and without them being as wonderful as they have been then all of my Fathers' Days would not have been as wonderful nor as nice as hey have been but instead all would have been just another day. Let me assure you - because of my children, Fathers' Day is not just another day for me - it is great, one of the best days of each year.

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ballseye’s Gun Shots 72 - New York State Rifle & Pistol Association

I am now a card carrying LIFE member of the NYSR&PA. Used to be that I paid dues every year, been doing that for maybe 4 or 5 or 6 years now. Last week I realized that once you hit 55 you can get a life membership at only $200. I will hit the double nickels later this year and asked them if they would allow me the reduced life member rate now. They did. Now I have to figure out how to scrounge up an extra $200 in light of my soon to be due hospital, doctor and anesthesia bills for my recent surgery that I somehow managed not to think about when spending on other things lately, other things like this membership. Those bills will amount to well over a grand with insurance taking care of the rest. I guess I won't be buying any new guns for awhile, so maybe I should be happy I just got a couple (well one keeper and one I am sending back). I suppose if I take a refund on that gun - the one going back - there will be the $200 I need for the life membership and a few bucks left over for some ammo for the gun I am keeping. It will work out somehow, otherwise I will just pay the medical bills in installments. At least I will pay as opposed to some illegal alien who might very well just get sewn up and run back across the border.

All the best,
Glenn B

Ballseye’s Gun Shots 71 - Gun Show Report and Some Yummy Stuff Too

Night came and night passed and Insomnia and her close allies Aches and Pains, were steadfast in their loyalty to me, and kept me company throughout most all of the darkest hours. Despite not getting much sleep, or because of it, I was up at 4:30 to let the dogs outside, then once again tossing and turning while trying to grab at least an hour of silent and dreamy slumber on the couch in the basement. No luck was mine and not much sleep either and I was up and at em at by 5:30. I had a quick breakfast of a buttered roll and some OJ and just after I finished I heard someone else was up and about in the kitchen and I went to investigate. Before I could even get up off the couch, Brendan was calling down to see if I wanted bacon and eggs and some coffee. I guess he was in the domestic mood, or at least hungry, and since mom was not up he was cooking and brewing (or should I say electric dripping). I puttered around in the basement, checked my email, went up and said good morning and grabbed a cup of Joe. Mmm, not bad at all, kid likes it strong like his old man (and his mom); probably used the Sumatran French Roast.

He asked what time I wanted to leave and I said the sooner the better even though it was only about 7:00 and we had originally planned to leave at 8:00. I guess we were off by 7:10, stopped for a quick gas-up, stopped for some cash at our bank's ATM and were on the road by 7:25. We drove 38 miles, or thereabouts, and got to the Westchester County Center in White Plains at about 8:10, parked the car on the street (good thing about getting there early is free parking) and had walked around to the front of the building by 8:15. When we arrived, there were already about 10 to 12 people lounging around on the front steps of the center. We headed to the top of the stairs, stayed to the right side like the signs indicated for the gun show entry, waited behind some guy who we started talking to about guns shows and this and that and within a few to maybe 15 minutes at most others started gravitating toward us and forming a line of more or less about 20 to 25 people. As time progressed so did the length of the line. Early on it was still cool, but soon began warming up a bit and the folks on the greater part of the line were out in the sun. We had it made in the shade which was fine by me and was another advantage of being early. At about ten before nine they started to let some of us in to buy tickets but we had to wait inside another 10 minutes or so before they let us onto the selling floor. By that time the line outside was around the block, probably already had been for about 15 minutes or so.

Much as when a range master gives the command "commence fire", the line we were on inside shot forward into the convention center's main floor when we got the go ahead. It was a familiar place, I have been to many herp (reptile and amphibian) shows in the exact same room over the past several years, maybe even the past decade or more. This time though, the only snakes were Colt Pythons. As soon as we got inside both Brendan and I could see it was not a big show as gun shows go. He has been to at least one big show and me to quite a few. Still though 350 tables would be a good amount for this venue since there had not been a gun show held there for about 11 years, since Columbine and the ensuing anti-gun panic.

We were separated almost as soon as we entered, me with my measly $500 and Brendan with about $1300. He was set on buying an AR style rifle or something of a similar nature. Me, I would be happy with some ammo cans at $6 or $7 a pop and maybe some ammo. Of course, I was keeping and eye out for one or two rifles I had in mind and maybe even a Beretta Jetfire in .25 ACP. I found Brendan in short order, he was at a table buying some pre-ban AR magazines. They looked horrible, all scratched up as if someone had gone at em with a piece of concrete. They went for $15 apiece and he bought two of them.

We made our way around here and there and again were soon split up. Before we split though, I saw some pre-ban AK mags in great condition for $9.99 apiece, limit 2 mags per person. Between us we bought 4 of them. They look to be legitimate pre-bans and I find it hard to believe they were so inexpensive here in NY but that was the price. That made Brendan pretty happy. Then we split and I walked around slowly. I stopped at many tables with firearms even though I would guesstimate only about 60 to 65% had guns on them. Many had knives, some had gun or knife books, others sold war movies and documentary and shooting videos, others had ammo, but amazingly enough I did not see one table with even one piece of beef jerky for sale - what a relief. While I was strolling around looking at this and that, I came across what looked like a very nice Remington Model 8, in 35 Remington, but the guy wanted $575 for it - way too much. I was about to try to haggle when I saw that the wood just behind the tang was badly gouged, almost a deep hole with ragged edges. I just imagined that forming a crack with repeated firing and I walked away. I then looked at Nagants, Remington 870s, SKS's, a few Savage bolt action rifles, an Enfield (and I saw it had one screw where the one I got yesterday did not, so mine is definitely going to be returned), and several other guns that caught my eye. There were no ARs, no AKs and so forth to be seen. Someone told us earlier that the county would not allow sales of them at this show. Oh those evil black rifles! I figured Brendan would be disappointed. Somewhere before I found him again, I found another Remington model 8, this one for an asking price of only $450. It was in at least fine to maybe excellent blue, had really nice wood but was .30 caliber. So much for that, I only want one in .35 Remington so I was and am still looking.

When we ran into one another he was ready to split. We had been there only about an hour or so but he was very disappointed about this show because of the lack of ARs and the like. I told him I wanted to go round a second time and also wait for a couple of my friends to show up and he said "okay" but looked bored. I told him to go round again and take his time and just look at the older stuff or the tamer stuff. He did or started to. He wound up going over to a table where another dealer was selling AR mags and he bought another 8 of the pre-ban hi-cap AR mags at $100 for all 8. This guy said he had had them in storage for years disassembled and he recently put em together again. I imagine he had em apart to keep any tension off the springs though if you know mag springs that wa snot really necessary.

The next thing I knew, I ran into my friend Pete K from CT. He used to be on the job with me but retired several years ago. He told me he had been waiting on line outside since 9:30 and had been on line for about 50 minutes before getting in. Man they were really working at a snail's pace in the ticket booths, and am sure they planned it that way because the place was not crowded and Pete said there was still a big line outside. When they have other shows there, the place fills up like a damn had burst and the flood waters had come inside. We chatted it up awhile and Brendan came over to say hi then disappeared into the crowd. Then Pete glanced over and saw Richie M another friend from our job who retired a few years back. Richie had been our primary firearms' instructor. All three of us were talking up a storm when a bored looking Brendan came over to say hi to Richie. I told him I would be awhile and once we were done jaw-boning I still had a few aisles to review a second time.

When the three of us old friends split up, I made the rounds of the tables I wanted to look at again. Nothing really caught my eye. I had wanted ammo cans but at $10 to $15 apiece for .50 caliber cans all I can say is they can put sardines into em. I sure wasn't going to buy any at that price when I usually get them for $6 to $7 apiece for virtually new ones at another show. I did pick up a couple of boxes of .22 WMR for my Marlin 25MN. Brendan had joined me again just before I bought that ammo. Then we were out of there. I spent a whopping $25 on items I bought at the show. I also paid $10 a head for us to get in, I had promised him if he paid for gassing up the car, I would pay: the tolls ($5.50 each way but somewhat less because we use E-Z Pass), the admission fees (which was actually $11 a head today but I had two $1 off coupons, I think tomorrow is only $10 a head) and for lunch. Brendan, on the other hand, spent about $300 to $340 in total including about $30 for a fill up of gas for the car. He bought 2 AR mags at a total of $30 plus tax from the first dealer, 8 AR mags at a cost of $100 plus tax for all 8 from the other dealer, and at least 4 AK mags at a total of $40 plus tax. That does not work out to anywhere near $340 - does it? Hmm, he had been looking at red dot sights earlier but I thought I talked him out of buying a brand we had never heard of before. Whatever else he purchased, it was none too big. He only left the place with two or three fairly small plastic bags of booty. When I track him down later, I will try to pry it out of him.

We left, and once on the highway we were immediately in heavy traffic. That lasted about 10 minutes or so, not bad, and we were on the move. On the way home I thought of our old neighborhood and a butcher and a baker and a restaurant therein. We made a detour and stopped at Rudy's Pastry Shop in Ridgewood on Seneca Avenue first. I remember this place from way back when I was a teen and maybe even from when I was younger. They bake great German style pastries, cakes, strudels, cookies and so on. I picked up 8 Linzer Torte at a whopping $18 total. Linda loves em, Celina and Brendan love em, and I just devour them. I suppose since I have not had them in so long, it was easy to break my vow not to go to this particular bakery anymore after getting a snooty attitude from one of the counter-women there a couple of years ago. Time and a hankerin' for yummy things overcome all grievances and Rudy's is truly too good to stay away from forever. Click on the name/link above, read the story, look at the pics; in the second pic down, look at the counter in the center top shelf, to your left side of that counter as you face it. See those large sugar powder covered cookies with the raspberry centers - those are the wonderfully tasty Linzer Torte. They were on that same shelf today when I bought mine.

Then we made our way to the butcher, Morscher's Pork Store on Catalpa Avenue, another old time establishment that has been there for years. (Nice to see they have their own website.) It is just down the block and across the street from Miraculous Medal RC Church. I went in with a few things on my mind but one in particular that I wanted pretty badly - Swine Fleisch (aka pig flesh or in this case pork tenderloin - a fairly fatty cut so it roasts nicely in the oven and the only thing they even think of when you tell them you want Swine Fleisch despite them having lots of pork for sale). Another $26 bucks just for that and another $22 for a small liverwurst, some gelb-wurst (gold or yellow wurst - a bologna like treat not really gold or yellow but in a yellow or golden wrapper tasting like bologna but a along the lines of a mildly, that is very mildly, spiced wurst), 8 bratwursts (made by Morscher's because we will have none of that Johnsonville Brat crap stuff for us) and some Lithuanian bread. In all, another $48 bucks spent to help the economy. Then we were off to sate our appetites.

We made our way from the bakery in Ridgewood, to the butcher on the Ridgewood/Glendale border, into central Glendale to one of our favorite restaurants Zum Stammtisch on Myrtle Avenue. Excellent food, great service, and absolutely wonderful bier. Today I took a break from the bier because I was driving but we had some truly good food. Brendan had the Jagerschnitzel and I had 2 Krainerwursts. Not what I expected in a Krainerwurst, nothing like what I am used to at all, but darned tasty anyhow. I ordered them at the restaurant because I forgot to buy a few at the butcher. The ones the butcher sells are to die for, well almost and I only say 'almost' because I don't want to tempt fate. I guess they are made differently by different butchers so the big difference but as I said they were pretty tasty at the restaurant too. They went just fine with sauer kraut and kartuful salat. Brendan's was just fabulous judging by how he went at it and what he said. We left satisfied, well I still could have used a bier but sure did not need one, so a diet coke had to do. That hit me up for another $48 plus an $8 tip.

Not long after that we were home and I was happy not to have to spend another dime. Still - what I spent was well worth the day out I had with Brendan, and will have been well worth the fun we will have shooting using what we bought today, and the meals that the family will enjoy together with the things from the butcher and bakery. When I got home and Linda came downstairs, I surprised her with the bag of goodies from the butcher and surprised her even more when I gave her the bag from the bakery with the smiley face on it and I told her enjoy and have a nice day. She immediately knew what was inside telling me they were Linzer Torte (or as I often call them - Lindser Tarts) and smiling big time when I handed them to her. Maybe for dessert tonight, but more likely at breakfast tomorrow, they will be devoured with nary a crumb left behind. I am pretty sure I'll have at least 1 tonight - I can hardly ever wait til the next day for these delectables.

All the best,
Glenn B

PS: Those bratwurst were nice and tasty tonight when I grilled em. We then had the Linzer Tortes for dessert after the BQ tonight. They made the dinner!

PPS: I destroyed two of the AR mags tonight. After we got home, we realized that the scratched up ones may have had a date code indicating manufacture in 2008. Not 100% certain on that but did not want to risk any problems so I took out the springs, followers and base plates, then hammered away at the mag bodies until they were useless hunks of metal. Threw em in the trash and will keep the springs if needed as repalcements for the pre-ban mags that we did get. If the place was closer to home, and if it would not cost another $7 in gas, about $10 in tolls and the headache of trying to get back into the show without being charged again, I would have gone back for a refund and to ream the dealer out with a size 12 (figuratively speaking of course).

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ballseye’s Gun Shots 70 - Enfield #4 MK1 - Update On The New One

I looked at the muzzle end damage again and figured what the heck, this could be a keeper after all. It has a small scrape/ding at the muzzle but it apparently does not effect the crown from what I can tell. Still would have it checked though if I thought I would keep it but figured why lug it to the gun show if there was anything else wrong with it. So I decided to take a better look at the rest of the rifle tonight. I also decided to hold off on the bier and the whisky until I got this done. The inspection being finished and the rifle put away, I am enjoying them both and let me tell you I can really use them about now because this is getting frustrating.

There was a clincher that I found that assures I will not keep this rifle. As I examined the rifle I found something else wrong, in fact two more things that make it absolutely unacceptable. When I took a further look at it, without any disassembly at all, I noticed what looked like an unfilled screw hole. I had to put on two pairs of glasses, one over the other, to be fairly certain I was looking into a threaded hole. Indeed it seemed that way. So I grabbed the small instruction manual, actually a folded over sheet or pamphlet. Surprisingly enough, this time they sent a pamphlet that actually corresponded to the model of rifle they sent me, well to three models of Enfield and one of them is supposed to be the one I got. Last time they did not match. I took a look inside and there are two exploded parts diagrams of the rifle. Yep, that hole should have been filled with a screw called the striker screw (or firing pin screw as I lager saw on an online diagram) as shown on both diagrams. Note I just said on both diagrams and the little instruction pamphlet is for three different models - apparently missing a diagram. I would say the missing diagram maybe the one for the model I have, the #4 MK1 because when I looked closer I saw it is actually could be two screws that are missing from the rear of the cocking piece. One would be the striker screw, I imagine, and the other problem a locking screw seeing as how one screw hole slightly overlaps the edges of the other one. Of course, it could be just the one screw as the striker may be threaded in there and the striker screw may hold it locked in place. The only exploded parts diagrams I can find, including one at Marstar of Canada's site (the pic I show here and actually for my exact model) show it only being one screw (click pic to enlarge and see the bolt inset in the pic and look for part Q27 to your left). Then again, one screw missing is more than enough to screw this deal. After all, just imagine that missing screw Q27 allows cocking piece Q24 to fly back into your face!

Whatever is missing - be it one or two screws - I would hate to shoot this thing, without that screw, and have the recoil force the cocking piece off and back into my face. I am betting that would be quite possible without the screw in place. Right now the cocking piece is staying in place and I have no idea what is holding it there but I sure would not want to take a chance shooting and have either my eye gouged out of its socket or my orbital bone shattered if the recoil kicked it back into my face. I am sure that screw is supposed to be there for a reason such as to prevent the cocking piece from coming loose when the rifle is fired or some other reason, so I have no problem returning it because it is missing that screw, not to mention the other problems.


Did I mention the other problem - the one in addition to the dinged/scraped muzzle and in addition to the missing screw. I guess not yet so here goes. You see I also decided to run a bore patch and brush through the barrel. The amount of sludge that came out of the bore was tremendous. There is no way they could have truly inspected this bore for 'hand select condition - best bore of 10' because of how filled with crud it was when I got it. Now it is much cleaner and showing a peppering of what looks like pitting for the length of the bore. Now that makes it three problems and I think more than enough reason to ship this one back and ask for a refund this time around. Too bad because this one has virtually no rust on the outside.

I am getting frustrated. Maybe I should have bought an Enfield years ago when they were going for $99.99. Too late for that now though. All I can say further is that this rifle will be going back to them pronto. I will call them on Monday for a return shipping label. I probably will not be asking for an exchange, definitely not for another Enfield again and instead probably for a full refund this time. I could take one more chance, return this rifle and ask them to send me another Yugo 24/47 Mauser in hand select condition. The other Mauser they sent me was not quite as good as they claimed it would be but I was okay with it and it shoots fairly well. I don't know though if I want another surprise from them and then the headache of having to pack it up and ship it back to them. That refund is sounding better and better as each moment goes by. Just think of all the 8mm Mauser ammo I can buy with it for my Yugo 24/47 Mauser!

All the best,
Glenn B

Ballseye’s Gun Shots 69 - Enfield #4 MK1

It was a tough ride home through summertime Friday evening traffic and the 23 miles of so that I drove home from my office seemed insufferable. Now you may live somewhere where you think a 23 mile ride, by car, is a breeze but mind you, 23 miles may not be a long way to go by car but it took me about one and a half hours tonight. That was pretty miserable but made bearable because I was listening to a book on CD, Elle Wiesel's: Night.

When I arrived home, somewhat grumpier for the traffic, I was still pretty happy because my weekend was commencing. I also knew I had something waiting for me inside the house - one of those long corrugated cardboard boxes of the type in which they ship firearms. My son Brendan had called me earlier to ask me if I had ordered a gun because I had received a long skinny box via UPS. I knew it had to be a replacement for the Enfield #4 MK1 that I had returned to Classic Arms, about a week ago, because of damage to the muzzle. I took my time, took off all of my gear and placed it where it belongs, then had dinner sitting next to my wife who was watching the dog whisperer. I had some petting time (AND FACE LICKING TIME DURING WHICH I GOT PRETTY SLOBBERED ON) with the 4 dogs. I was calm, cool, collected and relaxed and figured it was high time I got down to the basement rec room to check my new acquisition.

Upon first glance i was pretty impressed. Not much rust at all, much less than the last one they sent me. A nicer stock too with only one or two sort of fresh scratches or small gouges, a pretty dirty muzzle but without cleaning it I'd say the bore looked okay, and then I saw it and almost screamed bloody murder. The muzzle on this one also has a scrape in the metal around the muzzle, scraped to the white and freshly enough that it is not rusted over. I wish this had been delivered yesterday because it would have been on its way back today. I looked at it again after a break of about 10 minutes. Yep, scraped in almost the exact same place as the last one though probably only about half as bad as that other one. I almost could not believe it. I started to wonder how on earth I could have such luck then I started to wonder how on earth they could have screwed up 2 rifles in almost exactly the same way and have to wonder is it coincidence, was it done as spite work, or was it caused by maybe screwing with putting on or taking off a bayonet, or maybe it just came to them in this condition. Whatever it was, you would think, since I sent the other one back with almost an identical mar on it, they would have assured this one would not come with the same type of blemish. I am not too happy about it.

Tomorrow, I am going to a gun show. I may take it with me and if there is a gunsmith there as how he thinks it will effect this guns as to shooting, safety and value. I will also ask if it would be easy to fix if I have the rifle reblued.A bit of a stone and some emery cloth is probably all it would take to make it almost not noticeable unless you looked right at the spot, or so I am guessing - but that is only my guess. I am not expert on gun refinishing for sure nor on how such damage may effect safety when shooting this rifle. Just about everything else on this rifle looks better than the first one. I really want an Enfield an it is tempting to want to keep this one. Then again, I do not want a rifle that has safety issues or issues that may effect value a great deal so I have to check with an expert on it. Hopefully someone at the show will throw me a courtesy appraisal of the problem and tell me it is not worth fretting about. If that is the case, then I will run a bore brush and a patch or three through the barrel to see its cleaned up condition. If it looks good then, after cleaning up and after I am assured the damage will not be a safety issue or bring down the value of this rifle more than a few dollars, then I'll keep it.

I will have to debate whether or not to ever order from Classic Arms again regardless of whether or not I keep it. First one bad Enfield with damage and way too much rust. The the Yugo 24/47 Mauser with the wrong serial number on the paperwork and an etched on serial number not matching the original, now a second damaged Enfield. They are not running a good track record as far as i am concerned. Time will tell though, I keep forgetting to call them about the serial number, but will on Monday. I am going to leave myself a reminder email right after I finish this. No give me a moment........Okay got it done while you waited for me to finish - so to speak. Man, this is frustrating!

Now I am going to watch a little television while I have a couple of biers and a shot or maybe I'll have a couple of shots and only one bier. Yep, that sounds better. Then I am going to bed to get up early for the show tomorrow.

All the best,
Glenn B

Ballseye’s Gun Shots 68 - Range Observation, Trigger Follow Through & Other Things

When I was at the range last Saturday with Brendan, I got to do some pistol shooting. As I was shooting, a new shooter started to practice his own brand of marksmanship at the point just to my right. Apparently he had already set up a target during the last cease fire. I did not pay him any mind as I was concentrating on my shooting. In particular I was practicing something in particular that I had learned at the Glock Armorer's School - something that in years of firing an issued Glock 19, an issued Glock 26 and a personally owned Glock 26 I had never learned on my job. That was simply that the trigger on a Glock resets with only a very small amount of forward movement after the pistol is fired and you can feel it click into place and then immediately fire again if need be. For years, way too many of them now, whenever I fired a Glock, I allowed the trigger to move much further forward that I had needed to before firing again.

Now, I have to point out that while my allowing the trigger that much forward motion or follow through before reengaging it seemingly never adversely effected how well I could shoot with a Glock, I was quickly learning that it definitely had effected how fast I could get back on target and fire the next shot. It had been slowing me down markedly. I am no Quick-Draw McGraw (if you know who that is you are old) but with some practice of this new to me technique, well - I was getting a bit faster with being able to reengage the target and with follow-up shots. That is a good thing. My accuracy may also have improved slightly due to this new method that I was using but since I was already shooting very well with the Glock that is hard to say with certainty. While I am sure my accuracy has improved a bit as of late, whatever little improvement I showed last Saturday could simply have been a product of my additional practice over the past month or so.

Trigger reset is no foreign subject to experienced shooters. it should not be anyhow. Every modern firearm in functioning condition (at least everyone I know of with a trigger) resets the trigger after a shot is fired so long as you do not hold it back. The trick is, at least with most of them, to determine how far forward the trigger must travel before it resets and thus before it is ready to fire again. Some triggers have to travel fairly far forward again before they reset. Some do not. For example, my issued SIG 229 has a horrendously, in my opinion, long amount of trigger travel. It is double action only so if you allow the trigger to move fully forward after each time you fire it you then have to go through that huge amount of trigger travel on each shot. Then again, if you have been made aware of the feature of said pistol then you know that there is a certain point that the trigger needs to travel forward where it will reset and from which point you can again squeeze off another shot and that point is nowhere near all the way forward. The thing about the SIG though is that it seems to take a magic touch for you to feel the reset when you are shooting. Sometimes I get it right on each shot while at the range, other times I'll get it every other or every few shots and at yet other times it seems I cannot find or should I say feel the mark.

With my Glock 26, once that I learned that I only had to let the trigger move forward ever so slightly before actually feeling the trigger reset I have found the reset position on almost every shot I have fired. It is very distinctive once you have found it before or at least it seems that way to me. I think one of the reasons it may be easier to find the reset trigger position on a Glock as opposed to a pistol like the Sig is that the initial Glock trigger travel is less and is much more 'crisp' than on a Sig. Your finger has traveled less and therefore is probably 'ready' to travel less back forward to find the reset. Is that a mental or physical thing on the part of the shooter - maybe both. All I know is that is how it feels to me.

Back to the range and my observations which now will include the shooter who was shooting next to me. When I took a break, I noticed he was also shooting a Glock, maybe a model 19 or 17. I was immediately drawn to how he followed through with his trigger finger after each shot. This was not so much because I had been practicing my own follow through in order to reset the trigger with minimal forward trigger travel although I am certain that had something to do with it but more likely due to the fact that he was almost flicking his trigger finger forward, allowing the trigger to move fully forward after each shot, and causing his trigger finger to come completely off of the trigger within the trigger guard. I kept watching with some interest. He did this each time. The strange thing was that he did not seem to be jerking the trigger when he fired as I imagined he must also be doing; in fact it seemed he had fairly good trigger control as he fired the pistol just terrible trigger control as he allowed the trigger to move forward. I then took a look at his target. The shots, at 10 yards (It was either 10 or 15 but I think 10) were all over the paper and some were probably off of it. Either he had a lousy sight picture, was actually jerking the trigger as he fired without me realizing it, or his follow through was effecting his shots. My guess is that it was his follow through. His whole hand and arm were jerking each time he let his trigger finger flick forward. It was a very distinct move and my guess is he thought he was doing things correctly, my guess is that someone probably taught him to do that and I guess this because I have never seen anyone pick up a gun who has never shot before and then start flicking their finger forward like that after each shot. Now I could have been missing trigger jerk as he was squeezing off his shots, but I sure was not missing this forward flicking that caused his follow through to jerk. It was terrible.

As for trigger follow through, even if you are not going to go with the trigger as soon as it resets, or in other words are going to allow the trigger more forward movement, or even allow it to move forward as far as it will go after each shot, there is no reason at all that I can think of (with any pistol I have ever fired) to let your trigger finger come completely off of the trigger after each shot and certainly never a reason to flick your finger forward with force after each shot before squeezing of another shot. All that flicking your finger forward like that accomplishes is to make it take longer for you to get through your next shot because you have to completely reseat your finger on the trigger and start over again from the furthest point possible. Well there is one other thing it will accomplish and that is likely that you will not only flick your finger forward but will probably jerk the trigger when you squeeze it again. The more I think of it the more I become convinced he must have also been jerking the trigger, if not right from his first shot then almost certainly on any subsequent shot after he flicked his trigger finger forward off of the trigger.

I did not tell him and here is why: Sometimes when you try to help another shooter at the range, especially one who does not know you, that other shooter takes great offense and maybe even thinks you are insulting him or her for giving that advice. So, I rarely offer advice to people I do not know while at the range, that is unless there is a safety violation taking place and I then either call a range officer to have it corrected or will point it out to the other shooter myself. About the only time I ever suggest any shooting techniques to someone at the range, who is a stranger to me, is when they ask or when I see a dad (sorry have never seen a mom doing such at the range though I am sure there are many of you doing it) trying to help his son or daughter to shoot and he is not getting it right and seems to be a bit embarrassed in front of his child. Then I may have him step aside for a moment with me and I'll make a friendly and brief suggestion. I find in instances like that, the assist usually is appreciated but you can bet I will try to make sure the dad seems like the appreciative type first.

There was one other thing I noticed at the range last weekend. Another pistol shooter, this one to my left, was shooting a coupe or few different handguns. He was with a younger guy - probably his son. After firing several shots he handed the pistol to the younger guy who then commenced firing. When I got to the range that day, I noticed, and how could I not, that they put a blue band around my left wrist when I was paying for our range time but they did not put one on Brendan's wrist. I quickly realized his must have been because I had told the guy at the counter that I would be shooting pistols and had showed him my LE ID but just to be sure I asked him about why the hospital type wristband. He said that it was a new policy to identify legitimate pistol shooters because all too many times some pistol shooters would hand their pistol to an unlicensed person, or non LEO, for some shots. That is pretty much forbidden, except under very specific circumstances, in New York state (yes gun laws here suck the big burrito) and it is expressly forbidden at this range for a non-pistol permit holder or non LEO to shoot pistols.

Well the younger guy seemed pretty safe and all, I was pretty certain he had shot pistols before. I called Brendan over and noted it to him, he was only a few points away from me to my right on the first two rifle points. He saw right away why I had called him over without me saying anything. All I had to do was ask what he saw and he got it. We did not make it obvious and watched a little more from a respectable distance. I also noticed, while we were watching the youngster shoot, that the two range officers on duty were both on the other half of the range (the longer distance points) and both were sitting down and BS'ing to one another. Neither was paying attention to a single thing that was going on with the shooters. One was looking away from me and one was sort of facing my direction. After about a minute or more, the range officer facing in my direction looked over and saw Brendan and I standing there, basically facing in his direction and must have figured those shooters look like they are bored or ready for a cease fire or maybe wanted something from him. He got up and headed our way. When he was about 20 feet from us and about 10 feet from the other two shooters you cold see him suddenly go on alert. he realized the youngster was shooting and not wearing the blue wristband. He asked the older of the two, without interrupting the younger guy who was actually shooting, if the young man had a pistol license and told him politely that if he did not then he was in violation of the rules (which be the way were posted about 2 feet from the young shooter's head). The older of the two got infuriated almost immediately. He started mouthing off and yelling but it did not last long. The range officer put him in his place pronto telling him not only could they be forced to leave the range but they could be arrested. I was kind of surprised the range officer allowed them to stay at the range but he is one of the nicer and more level headed range officers at this particular range. I had considered saying something o the older guy myself but after giving him the once over I took him for an arrogant grouch much like I can be all too often. I decided to hold off since the younger guy was not being unsafe. I am happy I did, I did not need an argument because I wanted to enjoy the rest of my day with Brendan after once losing my temper a bit with him over something silly earlier on. I had smoothed things out by then and did not need to roil the waters again. Good for me that I held off too, had he started yelling at me like who knows how things might have turned out. Sometimes it is just better to observe especially when the other guys have guns. At least when the range officer confronted him he realized the range officer held some authority at the range and after a it of huffing and puffing it was resolved. It was probably no time for a stranger to butt in but had the guy gone further, like getting physical, we would have given the range officer a hand for sure; as I said - he is a nice guy.

All the best,
Glenn B